SeaWorld May Have a Type of Dolphin New to Their Collection: Spotted Dolphin Rescued in Florida

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Update 1/27/12:  The dolphin is at SeaWorld’s rehab facility in their Orlando amusement park – no surprise there.
A spotted dolphin was rescued Wednesday on a Panama City Florida beach, but where is she now?
Did she go to SeaWorld/Hubbs Research Institute, or to SeaWorld amusement park?

An article about SeaWorld’s latest attempt to rescue a dolphin relays that the dolphin was taken to Hubbs-SeaWorld Institute, Orlando –  but Hubbs is in Melbourne Beach,  east of Orlando, farther away from the beach where the dolphin was found. She may in fact be headed to SeaWorld’s new rescue and rehab facility instead.
Either way, they anticipate a long recovery and eventual release ‘if possible’:

PANAMA CITY BEACH — A dolphin stranded at St. Andrews State Park that was rescued by Gulf World Marine Park employees was on her way to the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in Orlando on Wednesday for long-term rehabilitation.
Gulf World’s veterinarian Lydia Staggs found inflammation in the abdomen of the adult female Atlantic spotted dolphin. She said she was unsure what the cause was, but further testing would be done once the dolphin arrived in Orlando. She said the inflammation was not due to a live fetus.

“We say it’s a guarded prognosis because we haven’t diagnosed what is wrong with her,” Staggs said. “When they get down there, they’ll probably do another ultrasound and radiographs, which are X-rays.”
Staggs said if people find a dolphin stranded, they should never try to get it back out into the ocean.

“Don’t release them; call us. … Do not push them back out in the water. We would appreciate that,” Staggs said.

I’m sure that they would ‘appreciate that’ – but be careful who you call.  Gulf World is a privately owned company based in Alabama.  It is part of a stranding network, but these are not necessarily on the up and up.

For instance the Florida Marine Mammal Stranding Network Southwest Region,  although listing itself as a non-profit has had its status revoked by the IRS for not filing the appropriate forms for three consecutive years, and according to Guidestar “Further investigation and due diligence are warranted.”

Legitimacy Information

  • This organization is not registered with the IRS.
  • This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

This organization’s exempt status was automatically revoked by the IRS for failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years. Further investigation and due diligence are warranted.

Instead, contact one of these individuals if you find a marine mammal that needs help in the Gulf/coastal areas of Florida :
Blair Mase-Guthrie (, Stranding Coordinator
National Marine Fisheries Service
75 Virginia Beach Drive
Miami, FL 33149
Phone: (305) 361-4586; Fax: (305) 361-1462

Erin Fougeres (, Stranding Program Administrator
National Marine Fisheries Service
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: (727) 824-5312; Fax: (727) 824-5309

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